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I have a recipe that calls for "Cooking Chorizo" (in the UK). What is this? Would normal cured chorizo be an acceptable substitute?

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Could they be referring to the difference between Mexican and Spanish chorizo? – Michael at Herbivoracious Aug 14 '10 at 20:38
Look at this question:… – BaffledCook Oct 24 '10 at 15:50
up vote 8 down vote accepted

Spanish Chorizo comes in two forms both of which to the best of my knowledge are fully cured (cooked): one which is more for eating on its own (like salami) and the other which tends to have a higher ratio of fat in it and is used primarily for cooking. The latter one being what the recipe is referring to as "cooking chorizo". Oftentimes the cooking chorizo is in a paper casing that must be removed (unless you need some extra fiber in your diet). Either one of these would work, however you might need to add a little oil to the pan if you need to cook other things in the fat that would normally be rendered out.

Mexican chorizo is always a raw product which must be cooked and is usually in a plastic casing.

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Any chance you could also tell us where the Portugese "chouriço" fits in on this scale? It's the only "version" I'm able to find in the supermarkets here. – Aaronut Aug 15 '10 at 15:18
To the best of my knowledge it's Chourico is just the Portuguese spelling of Chorizo. As far as the fat content and whether its more the "eating" or "cooking" type, I don't know. – Darin Sehnert Aug 15 '10 at 15:58
Chorizo for eating is not cooked, but it is eaten raw. The difference between it and chorizo for cooking is explained in my answer. – CesarGon Oct 24 '10 at 11:29
Cured is not cooked. There is a cured chorizo that has dried out, that's for eating as is. And then there's uncured chorizo that's softer, sometimes smoked, and is for cooking. – BaffledCook Oct 24 '10 at 15:54

"Cooking chorizo" probably refers to chorizo for cooking rather than eating raw. Cooking chorizos are usually smallish (8-16 cm), sometimes curved like a banana and tied together by a string in chains, whereas eating chorizos are usually straight, larger (30-50 cm), and you eat them raw in thin slices, like salami. In some places in Spain, they use the word "chorizón" to refer to eating chorizo and differentiate it from cooking chorizo.

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Spanish 'Cooking' Chorizo is semi-cured, hence, you have to finish the cooking process yourself. The semi cure only takes a week, where as fully cured takes about 8 weeks. Fully cured you can eat without cooking. If the packaging doesn't state if it's for cooking and you are not sure, check to see if it's semi cured, or not. Cooking chorizo is also spicy - it's not sweet cured!

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Portuguese chourico comes only one way that I know of.That is raw and needs either frying or cooked in soup. It is high in fat content. I would assume to add flavor also to hold it together. I always buy mine (since I live in Minnesota) from Portuguese food Inc.

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This does answer the question, but I am removing the second link because it is promotional rather than relevant. Please don't continue to link to your web site unless there is a specific page you are linking to which directly answers the question (and is summarized in your answer). – Aaronut Jul 10 '11 at 16:53
@gil many here are sensitive nearing overly so to possible promotion. not to pick on Michael‌​, but he's a great example of how to do it acceptably. – zanlok Mar 6 '12 at 20:13

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